When asked about Mike Huckabee making a Holocaust reference regarding the Iran deal, President Obama quipped, “Maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines.” But rest assured that no one out-Trumps Team Trump. On Monday night, the Daily Beast published a report on Ivana Trump’s claim in her divorce deposition that Donald Trump raped her in 1989. The accusation was revealed in the 1993 book Lost Tycoon, The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump, and at the time of publication Ivana said she “felt violated” during the incident, but did not intend to accuse her ex-husband of rape in a “literal or criminal sense.”
Donald Trump denied the allegation years ago, so how did the billionaire’s attorney decide to defend his boss? By falsely claiming that marital rape is legal and threatening the journalists behind the story. Per the Daily Beast:>
Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization, defended his boss, saying, “You’re talking about the front-runner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse.”
“It is true,” Cohen added. “You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”
Raping your spouse has been outlawed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia since 1993, though in a handful of states marital rape is still treated differently than rape outside of marriage. In New York, where the alleged incident occurred, marital rape has been a crime since 1984.
In Lost Tycoon, author Harry Hurt III relays the scene Ivana described in her deposition, which allegedly occurred after Donald went to his wife’s plastic surgeon for scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot. He reportedly told his wife, “Your fucking doctor has ruined me!” The Daily Beast continues:
What followed was a “violent assault,” according to Lost Tycoon. Donald held back Ivana’s arms and began to pull out fistfuls of hair from her own scalp, as if to mirror the pain he felt from his own operation. He tore off her clothes and unzipped his own pants.
“Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months. Ivana is terrified… It is a violent assault,” Hurt writes. “According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, ‘he raped me.’”
Following the incident, Ivana ran upstairs, hid behind a locked door, and remained there “crying for the rest of night.” When she returned to the master bedroom in the morning, he was there.
“As she looks in horror at the ripped-out hair scattered all over the bed, he glares at her and asks with menacing casualness: ‘Does it hurt?’” Hurt writes.
In 1993, Donald said the story is “obviously false” and denied getting the surgery. As part of their 1991 divorce settlement, Ivana is not allowed to discuss their marriage without her ex-husband’s permission. A statement from Ivana provided by the Trump team appears on the first page of Lost Tycoon:
During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me … [O]n one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage. As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a “rape,” but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.
Cohen accused the Daily Beast of misconstruing Ivana’s remarks, saying she was describing that “she felt raped emotionally,” not literally. He added, “There is nothing reasonable about you wanting to write a story about somebody’s usage of the word ‘rape,’ when she’s talking [about how] she didn’t feel emotionally satisfied.”
According to the Daily Beast’s Tim Mak and Brandy Zadrozny, Cohen then threatened to serve the site with a multi-million-dollar lawsuit, just like Univision, and promised to ruin them personally:
“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”
“You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word rape, and I’m going to mess your life up … for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet … you’re going to have judgements against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added.
The journalists say Cohen also told them they would “suffer the consequences” and asked, “You want to ruin your life at the age of 20?”
But ABC News producer John Santucci did get a response from the Trump campaign:
That’s not exactly true:
But the message is clear: The candidate will supply his own offensive remarks, thank you very much.
Update: A Trump spokesperson told Business Insider: “This is an event that has been widely reported on in the past, it is old news and it never happened … It is a standard lawyer technique, which was used to exploit more money from Mr. Trump especially since he had an ironclad prenuptial agreement.”